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Comment: Re:Ever hear of "sociology"? (Score 1) 274

by TheLink (#49285099) Attached to: Speaking a Second Language May Change How You See the World

How about this: http://www.businessinsider.com...

I don't really know how good the research actually is, given its claim that nobody could see blue till modern times. I'm pretty sure the Israelites knew and saw blue quite a long time ago: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/...

But that article is also about how language may change how you see the world ;).

Comment: Re:Approaching the problem from the outside in. (Score 2) 106

by TheLink (#49072293) Attached to: Nanotech Makes Steel 10x Stronger
I think the next job would be to see what happens when it starts rusting a bit or gets scratched/nicked or gets heated up or temperature cycled. See how much of the strength is lost.

I wouldn't rely on the material for important stuff till I knew how the material can fail and how well it fails.

Comment: Re: Big Data (Score 2) 439

by TheLink (#49060097) Attached to: Will Submarines Soon Become As Obsolete As the Battleship?
And the point of submarines with nuclear missiles is to make a nuclear capable enemy more convinced that MAD is really MAD. They can't wipe out all your nuclear missile silos and survive because you have enough hidden "nuclear missile silos" aka submarines in the ocean to wipe them out.

The oceans are big places, you might be able to locate submarines that you already know the rough location of. But how are you going to bounce laser light off a hull if you're not even within 50km of the submarine?

Wake detection could work better, however if the submarines don't move that fast and if they are deep underwater they won't leave as big wakes.

Comment: Re:Incorruptable (Score 5, Funny) 80

by TheLink (#49045495) Attached to: Facebook Adds Legacy Contact Feature In Case You Die Before It Does

Or have a "deadman switch" trigger a script to update it with preset/random stuff, or have some prankster update it for you: http://tech.slashdot.org/comme...

e.g. Justin Morg: Oops... Looks like I'm dead. Damn... :(
Tuesday at 10:00pm

Justin Morg likes 10 ways to tell that you are really dead
Tuesday at 10:02pm

Justin Morg: Anyone have a res handy? Urgent!
                        Justin Morg needs a resurrection! Give him one and you'll get HadesVille points!
Tuesday at 10:13pm via HadesVille

Justin Morg: Where's the restore from quick-save option when you really really need it. Sigh...
Tuesday at 10:17pm

Justin Morg: On the bright side, I guess I don't have to show up for work tomorrow :) @Boss.
Tuesday at 10:20pm

Justin Morg: Hmm, wonder what time the funeral will be tomorrow. I'd hate to be late ;). Haha I kill me sometimes (but not this time, it was Professor Plum with the candlestick!).
Tuesday at 10:32pm

Justin Morg: I guess I'll call it a night, no point doing the graveyard shift, don't want to be like a zombie tomorrow...
Tuesday at 10:50pm

Justin Morg: Good morning! I'm up! OK not so good and not so up. Oh well. At least the mortician made me smile, put stitches in my side too.
Wednesday at 7:30am

Justin Morg likes What's worse than waking up early in the morning? Not waking up at all!
Wednesday at 7:32am

Justin Morg: I guess I'll skip breakfast, no stomach for it today... But I'd die for a cup of coffee :p.
Wednesday at 7:35am

Justin Morg: Wow, people are actually coming to my funeral!
Wednesday at 8:43am

Justin Morg likes a minute of silence
Wednesday at 9:01am

Justin Morg: Aww don't cry... OK so I'll really be forever in your debt, but hey I did say the payback's gonna be "out of this world" right? XD
Wednesday at 9:05am

Justin Morg likes The Sweet By and By
Wednesday at 9:10am

Justin Morg: @MaryNotMarried now's the time to ask that pesky aunt "When's your turn" just like she does to you at weddings... Haha!
Wednesday at 9:13am

Justin Morg likes short sermons and even shorter skirts
Wednesday at 9:20am

Justin Morg: ok Human Torch time!
Wednesday at 9:30am

Justin Morg: getting kinda warm in here... I hate stupid ties and suits.
Wednesday at 9:35am

Wednesday at 9:37am

Justin Morg: Flame on!
Wednesday at 9:40am

Justin Morg: The ultimate fat burning program... Watch the pounds melt away. And never come back- 100% guaranteed!
Wednesday at 9:45am

Justin Morg: ok I guess I can fit in that sexy "size nothing" urn now... Check out my new curves... Hey guys, I'm coming out of the closet! Just kidding! Don't look like you've just seen a ghost.
Wednesday at 9:55am

Justin Morg: It is very dark. I wonder if grues eat ashes.
Wednesday at 10:00am

Comment: Re:Pure expected value analysis misses the point (Score 1) 480

by TheLink (#49036215) Attached to: The Mathematical Case For Buying a Powerball Ticket
Plus a lot of the calculations don't take into account a finite lifetime and low social mobility.

If you're some poor guy stuck in some minimum wage job, your odds of ending up with > $100 million are near zero. Now if you started your own business there's a higher chance of you becoming a millionaire or multimillionaire but the odds of getting >$100 million still are low plus the effort is much higher. There are also other risks involved- there are lots of people with failed businesses, just fewer of them sell books or give interviews on how they failed and failed again and still haven't succeeded.
Yes there are people who won the "genetic lottery" and have the energy and endurance to work 2 or more jobs and NOT die/break, but for the rest - what really are their odds of going from burger flipper to having hundreds of millions?

So if you're poor and wanted to be merely normal "rich" don't bother with lottery tickets - just try to invest what little you earn. But if you want to be swimming in hundreds of millions of dollars within your lifetime, buying a powerball ticket is a rational decision (especially when the jackpot gets big).

Comment: Re:The whole idea is crazy (Score 1) 288

by TheLink (#49026443) Attached to: Quantum Equation Suggests Universe Had No Beginning
If you want philosophical, it could be something we might never know for sure.

For example, in theory we could create a simulation of a steady state universe with rules that we decide on. And inside that universe, by that universe's rules the "before" could have gone on for an infinity, and there's no way to know that wasn't the case.

But by our universe's rules we could have started up that simulation 10 seconds ago and taken a week to design it. Or we could even have made copies of it and started up slightly different versions, or even have a few big bang versions. How old would these universes be? Billions of years old? 10 seconds? Depends on your perspective doesn't it?

And how would those "inside" know what's going on for sure? Unless perhaps somehow told by those "outside".

Comment: Re:Ten years? (Score 1) 332

by TheLink (#48697289) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: What Tech Companies Won't Be Around In 10 Years?

With Oculus Rift-like displays, you can have very very big 2D "screens", and very many 2D "screens", and also 3D Abax/"Sand Tables" and Environments.

And that's why I'm very disappointed with Microsoft, Microsoft Research etc, for crap like Windows 8.

High powered personal computers with such screens and a suitable UI could let you do a lot more, quicker than what's possible now (and also check facebook/slashdot in a fancier way ;) ). Add thought-macros and we might actually have what I'd call progress. If you head in this direction, the mobile devices won't be competing with your Desktop/Personal Computers, OS and UIs for quite a while yet. What is likely to happen is they become complementary or even synergistic. The mobile stuff will let you do your virtual telepathy, virtual telekinesis and virtual savant stuff (eidetic memory, fast counting/math, face/gun/etc recognition), while the desktop stuff will help you use up all the cores Intel/AMD can provide (see also: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/... many people are capable of much more, a suitable UI might make it almost natural).

While it's true there isn't much of a market for such devices yet, but the OS and UI has to be in a position to support such devices first. You need the infra, APIs, frameworks so that developers ("Developers! Developers! Developers!") can start building stuff.

Even if it's merely an announcement of direction with no actual tangibles yet, it'll make me more hopeful and excited. The roadmap/direction they've been announcing has been disappointing for all the supposed creative geniuses they are supposedly paying. Who gets excited about Microsoft turning their desktop computer into a more powerful tablet?

Someone will eventually do it. I doubt the present Desktop Linux bunch will or can, nowadays it seems their idea of innovation is to make a UI that's worse than whatever Microsoft shits out. They're so bad that I sometimes wonder if they're being paid to sabotage Desktop Linux.

Maybe Apple might? If Google or Apple succeed in making a decent virtual savant/telepathy/telekinesis wearable device or make a better general purpose UI for Oculus Rift stuff I'd say it's genuinely "Insanely Great".

Comment: Re:Uber, uber, uber, uber (Score 5, Insightful) 257

by TheLink (#48491199) Attached to: The Driverless Future: Buses, Not Taxis

If I had to bet, I'd bet on the trucking companies replacing their drivers with robots first before the bus or taxi companies do.

Buses are too messy - dealing with too many unpredictable people and vehicles in complex scenarios. Taxis would be even worse (buses have bus routes, taxis don't).

In contrast imagine being able to run trucks nonstop using robot drivers that don't need sleep, robot drivers that are safe and reliable enough to make the insurance companies to charge lower premiums. Maybe every Xth truck on the route has a human (who doesn't drive) just in case a truck encounters a problem that needs a human around. The trucking companies can pick routes that are more robot-truck friendly. Can't do that for taxis, and maybe hard for buses too.

When a robo-truck crushes a kid on a "no pedestrian" highway, that's a lot less bad PR than a robo-bus crushing a kid in a city or residential area.

Comment: Re: Regular expressions (Score 1) 41

by TheLink (#48439301) Attached to: Critical XSS Flaws Patched In WordPress and Popular Plug-In

Many of these exploits and xss-worms would not have been effective if people had implemented the suggestion I made more than a decade ago:

Plenty of people suggest libraries to sanitize stuff, but when people keep creating new "GO" buttons and never a single "STOP" button - how can you be sure you've disabled every possible "GO" button? With my proposal, a "STOP button" could even disable future yet to be invented "GO" buttons.

Anyway since the Mozilla bunch supposedly have a better idea, how about getting on with it: https://developer.mozilla.org/...

Comment: Re:This is silly (Score 1) 720

by TheLink (#48223669) Attached to: Automation Coming To Restaurants, But Not Because of Minimum Wage Hikes

Automation increases jobs.

Automation does require the displaced employee to get another job. This may require retraining, returning to school to upgrade or acquire a skill set that is marketable. The may require a change of career. Most displaced employees will find other jobs.

Imagine the Chinese, Indian etc workers as robots[1]. Have all the US workers who've lost their jobs to these "robots" experienced the increased number of jobs you mention? Now imagine what happens when Foxconn et all replace those Chinese workers with real robots (as Foxconn is actually doing).

What will these Chinese workers do? Some of them will take your higher end jobs: http://www.npr.org/blogs/thetw...
From the article:

And it turns out that the job done in China was above par â" the employee's "code was clean, well written, and submitted in a timely fashion. Quarter after quarter, his performance review noted him as the best developer in the building,"

If the population growth remains at X% and the Earth resource/wealth extraction rate does not increase by much more than X% if robots and automation take some human jobs, there will NOT be replacement jobs that pay out the same amount of wealth. Because in most cases automation is about reducing costs and increasing profits. Furthermore the resource extraction rate cannot continue increasing as long as we are stuck on Earth[2].

See also: https://www.youtube.com/watch?...
tldr; the automobile destroyed the jobs of the horses, there was no increase in replacement jobs that the horses could do.

And that is what will happen to most humans once the robots get good enough.

[1] Many of these workers are actually doing jobs that are "robotic" and could be automated- it's just that they are cheaper and more flexible than current robots and someone else paid for much of the manufacturing).

[2] https://www.youtube.com/watch?...

Comment: Re:Oh geez, is that all? (Score 1) 78

by TheLink (#47799341) Attached to: NASA's Competition For Dollars

Mars as the next step is a stupid idea. And that NASA also keeps suggest it as a next step proves to me how unworthy NASA is of funding. Same whenever they keep doing stupid studies on humans spending long periods in confined areas (they can always ask the nuclear submariners about it).

The true next step for anyone serious in making actual progress in space tech is to build a space station with artificial gravity (tethers+counterweights or other).

Once you have that you can test various animals (rats, food fish, humans) at Earth and Mars "g" concurrently to see how well they hold up for months in space.

And if you succeed in making that tech practical and cheaper it means you don't actually have to go to Mars - you can colonize the asteroids.

There's no actually much benefit going to Mars in the next few decades. The "g" is wrong, the pressure is wrong - you can't really use the tracts of land for farming without effectively building a "space station" on Mars (pressurization, shielding etc) - so there's little advantage over a space station with the disadvantage of not being able to pick your "g".

Comment: Re:In other words (Score 2) 101

by TheLink (#47693137) Attached to: ICANN Offers Fix For Domain Name Collisions

ICANN should just reserve a TLD or two for private networks similar to how some IP ranges were reserved in RFC1918. For example:
.private (broad scope - for internal/private use)
.here (narrower scope - limited to a particular location e.g. different starbucks outlets could be using whats.here and at each of those outlets it resolves to that specific outlet's stuff )
Feel free to think of other TLDs for private but different usage.

I actually proposed .here many years ago: http://tools.ietf.org/html/dra...

But seems they were too busy approving "Yet More Dot Coms" (e.g. .biz, .info etc).

That's one of the reasons I have a low opinion of ICANN. Anyone in the field could see this problem years ago, but they have done little to help and maybe even made things worse.

Money will say more in one moment than the most eloquent lover can in years.